The South African National Energy Association (SANEA), a member of the World Energy Council has embarked on a process to unpack the energy risks facing South Africa at a country and industry level, culminating in the publication of SANEA’s Second Energy Risk Report for South Africa. Wendy Poulton (click here for CV), the SANEA Secretary General and project leader of the team that produced the Risk Report will outline the process followed and key risks identified, with focus on the unfolding of energy risks in the evolution of the energy industry. SANEA would like to move the debate forward, by catalysing discussions on how we get out ahead of some of these risks and start reducing their impact and capitalising on the opportunities.

The energy risk environment in South Africa remains one of high uncertainty and change. The energy transition readiness as defined by the World Economic Forum, is broad in nature and is an overall indication of the inability or ability of a country to be able to shift the energy sector, including the availability of investment and capital, effective regulation and political commitment, stable institutions and governance, supportive infrastructure and an innovative business environment, human capital, and the ability of the current energy system to accommodate change. This has to include in South Africa’s context consideration of the social impacts of change and a focus on ensuring that the energy transition includes consideration and addressing of social impacts both positive and negative.

A set of top 20 risks was prioritised by SANEA members from an initial list of 50 energy risks down to the top 9 risks for the country for 2019 as being:

  • Activism and civil disobedience including strikes
  • Appropriate policy
  • Changing customer of the future
  • Energy data availability
  • Energy transition readiness
  • Fiscal crisis
  • Investment in and breakdown of infrastructure
  • Parochial interests
  • Price volatility and uncertainty